NOTHINGFACE

Nu Metal • United States
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The metal outfit Nothingface was formed in 1994 in Washington D.C., United States, and has quite a history. Frontman Matt Holt, guitarist Tom Maxwell, drummer Chris Houck and bassist Bill Gaal have made crushing, riveting metal intertwined with heavy melodies and compelling vocals. After two records for DCide, 1997s Pacifier and 1998s An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity, Nothingface made its major label debut on TVT Records with 2000s Violence, and 2003s Skeletons with critical acclaim. After Violence was complete, the highly charismatic Tommy Sickles replaced drummer Chris Houck and most recently, former Deadlights/Danzig bassist Jerry Montano replaced Bill Gaal.

But their story begins in the present and their past is just that the past. "I knew from the first note we played together that myself, Jerry, Sickles and Matt were supposed to be in a band writing music together," says guitarist Tom Maxwell. "The feeling was euphoric and completely
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Audio Guide to Everyday AtrocityAudio Guide to Everyday Atrocity
Dcide Records 1998
$4.50 (used)
ViolenceViolence
Tvt 2000
$19.55
$3.23 (used)
PacifierPacifier
Dcide Records 1998
$19.26
$7.83 (used)
ChangemanChangeman
Eleganz 2002
$9.99
$1.72 (used)
Pacifier by NothingfacePacifier by Nothingface
Dcide Records
$25.51 (used)
Changeman by NOTHINGFACE (2002-05-14)Changeman by NOTHINGFACE (2002-05-14)
Eleganz
$50.14
Nothingface - Welcome Mr. Sunday - Eat Raw - eat012Nothingface - Welcome Mr. Sunday - Eat Raw - eat012
Eat Raw
$16.99 (used)
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NOTHINGFACE Discography

NOTHINGFACE albums / top albums

NOTHINGFACE Nothingface album cover 3.17 | 2 ratings
Nothingface
Nu Metal 1995
NOTHINGFACE Pacifier album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Pacifier
Nu Metal 1997
NOTHINGFACE An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity
Nu Metal 1998
NOTHINGFACE Violence album cover 4.35 | 6 ratings
Violence
Nu Metal 2000
NOTHINGFACE Skeletons album cover 4.06 | 4 ratings
Skeletons
Nu Metal 2003

NOTHINGFACE EPs & splits

NOTHINGFACE live albums

NOTHINGFACE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

NOTHINGFACE Braid album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Braid
Nu Metal 1993
NOTHINGFACE Nothingface (demo) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothingface (demo)
Nu Metal 1994
NOTHINGFACE Thicker album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thicker
Nu Metal 1994
NOTHINGFACE The Architect of So Much Evil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Architect of So Much Evil
Nu Metal 1995
NOTHINGFACE Tracks From Violence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tracks From Violence
Nu Metal 2000
NOTHINGFACE For All The Sin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
For All The Sin
Nu Metal 2000
NOTHINGFACE Bleeder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bleeder
Nu Metal 2000

NOTHINGFACE re-issues & compilations

NOTHINGFACE singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sick
Nu Metal 1998

NOTHINGFACE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothingface (VHS)
Nu Metal 1998

NOTHINGFACE Reviews

NOTHINGFACE Nothingface

Album · 1995 · Nu Metal
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aglasshouse
Nothingface's little-known 1995 debut unsurprisingly shows them at their most vulnerable and creatively amateurish. As a result the band seems to play much of their sonic onslaught safe, leaning heavily on their contemporary influences to guide them through the ordeal of a studio debut. These influences mainly revolve around the increasingly-popularized Korn sound with stocky, punchy drum fills and semi-reserved riffing to make way for what is generally the most-sought piece- the vocals. Such a production choice is a bit of a problem though as Matt Holt in his earliest stages really hadn't quite perfected his scream nor his clean vocals, both of which would become hallmarks of the classic Nothingface sound. At his best, Holt sounds like a mediocre proto-Chad Grey-esque character, with his emotional value not nearly being up to par with his future work.

The band occasionally hits some marks though- mainly because these lovable bastards are so talented- with really well-thought-out constructions in their music. For example, 'Severed' is likely the most epic and impressive tune out of the bunch, showcasing not only Houck at his best with his blistering syncopation but also a rather fantastic and roaring breakdown that makes the track hold up to even some of their greatest hits. I cannot for the life of me understand why it wasn't chosen as a track to re-record for Pacifier in '97. Another highlight is the atmospheric 'Communion', another very Korny track where Holt channels Jonathan Davis with a warbling, weak-sounding whisper layered on with microphone distortion effects, creating quite the formidable atmosphere for fresh-out-of-the-underground band. But while these tracks are indeed great and a fun romp either way, Nothingface 1995 is still an album that could do with much improving, which is almost certainly to be expected with such a new band who hasn't quite found their footing at this point in the music world.

NOTHINGFACE Violence

Album · 2000 · Nu Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
With nu metal, the quality can go one of too very polar-ended ways: either it is structurally basic, repetitive, laughably edgy, or just plain uninteresting, or it's surprisingly competent and able to incorporate more interesting elements than the genre is known to allow. This is not an original observation by any means, but it is important to keep in mind as to distinguish quality nu metal releases from the mountains of drivel that also occupies the genre. And this pile of drivel is enormous- so enormous that I wouldn't really put it past someone to dismiss the medium in it's entirety. In my case when I find something actually good that happens to be golden-age nu metal, it is surprisingly and extremely refreshing. Today's pick is Nothingface, an act arising from the surprisingly vivacious hotpot of Washington D.C. They were rather early to the scene with their 1993 emergence and shot a slew of well-judged bullets through their 90's career, and didn't even end of up petering out by the time An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity came out in '98.

Then came Violence. This breakout disc was the band's second to last release but also happens to be their most caustic, interesting, and violent. Right off the bat it's clear from the title and the minimalist cover bearing only the album and band's titles and a strip of a Roy Lichtenstein-esque illustration that Violence is about as blunt as a ball-bearing cosh swinging at your skull at 25 mph. Fear not, the music certainly reflects that. Thematically it is very reflective of the era's newly born alternative metal scene with somber and often times volcanically pugnacious lyrics, which blend very well with Matt Holt's low-pitched and melancholic self-harmonizations. The raw aggression is conveyed through snarling guitar licks and barely-restrained yet pretty complex at-times drum fills from Chris Houck (who has probably become one of my favorite nu metal drummers of all time). Also, some of the hooks on this album in particular are extremely catchy at times either with the vocals or the guitar. I think 'Can't Wait For Violence''s chorus had been stuck in my head for several days after listening all the way through the album. Going back to Matt Holt; harmonizations are present but something that really brings the apoplectic rage is his extremely raw vocal screams, which would likely not sound out of place on any other more respected metal album. Not only are these screams very well done and do well to get my heart kicked up a few notches at some points, the unapologetic use of juvenile curse words is a good motif and a conveyance of a sort of loss of humanity amidst the animalistic fury that is used on this record. I think the line: "FUCK! SCRAPE OUT HIS EYES!!" from 'Hidden Hands' will go down in my books as one of the unabashed incitements of ultra-violence I've heard in music.

Violence, as well as Nothingface in general, is a real diamond in the rough and I hope they do get more recognition, especially considering Matt Holt's horribly unfortunate death a few months ago. Even nu-metal naysayers I believe are safe near this record.

NOTHINGFACE Skeletons

Album · 2003 · Nu Metal
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pointandclick
Nothingface are a rare example of a band that got better with each album. They go out with a bang on 2003's "Skeletons". It's an engaging and always interesting mix of soft ballads and angry pseudo metalcore. It's hard to believe the same guy is singing on tracks like "Ether" and "I Wish I Was a Communist". "Scission", "Beneath", "Patricide" and "Ether" easily sound like songs that could of been made by some faceless multi-platinum alt-rock band, in stark contrast to tracks like "Big Fun at the Gallows", "All Cut Up" and the aforementioned "I Wish I Was a Communist" where the singer just sounds so incredibly pissed off and vicious.

Another thing about this album is that the band really got creative with the song titles, in contrast to their previous albums which had generic titles like "Filthy". I doubt any band had ever named their songs "Murder is Masturbation", "Big Fun at the Gallows" or "I Wish I Was a Communist" at this point. The album's lyrics are much more interesting and mature (save for the random f-bombs) than before, they touch on subjects such as sexual abuse by Catholic Priests, corrupt politicians and the wars in Afghanistan/Iraq.

All in all this is probably one of the best nu metal releases ever, obviously that isn't saying much but still.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

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